Moving beyond Fish in : Fish out ratio measures in sustainable aquaculture feeds
Goal number 14 of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals is titled ‘Life Below Water.’ For Alltech Coppens, the main aim aligned with SDG 14 is to reduce our dependency on marine ingredients.
How was the scoring developed?
We use a well-known method called ReCiPe 2016 (developed by cooperation between RIVM, Radboud University Nijmegen, Leiden University and Pré Consultants) and the database from the GLFI. These form the basis for Alltech Coppens’ sustainability scoring, as their modelling methods are compliant with the European Union’s Product Environmental Footprint Category Rules for Feed (PEFCR).
We assessed the impact of all our industrial feeds based on the raw materials, geographical location of the supplier, feed performance (FCR), databases and information sources. It resulted in the Alltech Coppens sustainability scoring, in which we categorise the diets based on the total impact score. Feeds with the lowest impact score are placed in category A.
Humans are the predominant driving force behind alterations in river flow on a global scale, as well as spatial patterns. These alterations in the freshwater cycle impact biodiversity, food production, health security, ecological functioning and climate regulation, which all negatively impact the resilience of both aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. Most impacts related to water use are based on water consumption, which is the utilisation of fresh water in such a way that water is either evaporated, incorporated into products, transferred to other watersheds or disposed of into oceans. Aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems impacted by this may face the risk of a reduction in plant and fish species, which, in turn, affects resource availability and human health.
Land use scarcity and conversion are results of the growing human population, with agriculture and livestock farming as the main drivers for land transformation. The most known example of land use change is deforestation, which increases biodiversity loss and accelerates the loss of ecosystem functions and services. Land use and land use change, therefore, do not just cover actual land use. They impact greenhouse gas emissions, biodiversity loss, water quality and ecosystem functions and services, making land use a central concern for environmental sustainability.
Carbon emissions are often summarised in the carbon footprint of a product, as these are the most important anthropogenic greenhouse gasses within the atmosphere. However, the global warming potential is not just the three main anthropogenic greenhouse gasses combined but also includes 204 other greenhouse gasses and describes the climate change effects resulting from these emissions. Global warming is not just about the worldwide temperature rise; it affects ecosystems (which results in biodiversity loss), human societies and the natural environment.
Within the aquaculture sector, the use of fishmeal and fish oil in feed is often referred to as problematic because of its relation to depletion of ocean fish stocks and ecosystem damage due to damaging fishing methods. However, large differences between fish species, the status of stocks, fishing methods and production methods (i.e., trimmings) exist, leading to large differences in sustainability. With this criterion, we account for effects related to fishing (i.e., fish stock depletion and ecosystem damage) and make the databases that we used more applicable to our industry.
We are actively taking steps towards achieving our sustainable aquaculture goals by giving utmost respect for the climate, sustainable sourcing of materials, and social responsibility. Read more →
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